Rayudu: Batting in middle-order is not new for me

While Rayudu is happy that skipper Virat Kohli has backed him for the two-down slot, he does not feel the burden of expectations.

Ambati Rayudu and MS Dhoni have a chat during a practice session in Visakhapatnam.   -  K.R. Deepak

The Virat Kohli-Rohit Sharma blitzkrieg in the first one-dayer left Ambati Rayudu with only a short stint at the crease. Rayudu and the Indian team, however, are not complaining.

“It is great that our top-three have been doing so well. It is a challenge for the middle-order to be ready for action, but I’m sure everyone is up for it,” Rayudu said here on Tuesday.

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While Rayudu is happy that skipper Virat Kohli has backed him for the two-down slot, he does not feel the burden of expectations. “I don’t feel any pressure. I’m just focussing on the game at hand, and not thinking too far ahead,” he said.

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The Hyderabad batsman stated that the time has come to move on from the failed yo-yo test, which cost him a spot in the limited-overs team for the England tour a few months ago.

“I’ve been working on my fitness ever since I had an injury earlier this year. I’m happy to have cleared the yo-yo test, and my fitness work has continued. Even now, I visit the National Cricket Academy (in Bengaluru) for a week whenever I can, so that I can get some intensive training work done," Rayudu said.

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Asked if the West Indian bowling attack possesses the best of challenges, given that the team is looking to get ready for the ICC ODI World Cup next year, Rayudu replied, "It's only been one game. They bowled well, but Rohit and Kohli batted brilliantly. I'm sure that the West Indies bowlers will pose a challenge in the remaining games."